Raising the barn: Farm’s crops are music, art and learning

MARTINSVILLE — Over the Rhine wants you to stop by Nowhere Farm, listen to some music and maybe meet some friends they’ve met over the years.

While the well-known Ohio-based band has a few things to finish up in their renovated barn, they hope to make it a place for them to play their music as well as a place to display art.

“When we open our doors, our goal is to have a music and art center for Clinton County. Not only Over the Rhine concerts, but also of people who are dear to us,” said Karin Bergquist of Over the Rhine.

She said that through their 25 years of music and touring they’ve connected with people around the country and the world — and always thought it would be great bring them to Ohio. One those acts coming up is the mother-daughter folk duo Suzzy Roche and Lucy Wainwright Roche for a private concert Sept. 29.

Suzzy Roche was a founding member of the folk-rock group The Roches. Lucy, a solo artist herself, is the daughter of Suzzy and folk singer Loudon Wainwright III.

The Roches’ performance is a private concert; to attend, email info@portmerch.com and make a $20 plus a $2 service charge.

The barn, which was built in the 1870s, has been renovated with the upstairs now an area for musicians to play and the downstairs an area to display art. A few aspects of the new barn, and in progress, include restrooms, an elevator that’ll be handicap-accessible and be used to help musicians move instruments, plus a bar.

They’ve been able to invite musicians in with their annual Nowhere Else Festival “and we’d like to continue that,” said Bergquist.

At this year’s festival back in May, they featured artists ranging from musicians like Birds of Chicago and Carrie Rodriguez to writers like John Baskin and even Hollywood film director Scott Derrickson.

Jon Branstrator of Clarksville was even there talking about his endeavors in regenerative farming.

They’ve also featured various workshops — including a songwriting workshop — but one term that popped up during discussions of music was healing, according to Bergquist.

After chatting online with friends dealing with issues like chronic illnesses and grief, she said they had an opportunity to help. This has become a part of their Music, Art & Earth Foundation.

“We realized that there was an opportunity for a workshop for post-traumatic growth,” she said. “Tools that can perhaps help people throughout those situations and get just a little more unstuck. Because those things don’t just go away.”

As a whole, Bergquist hopes to bring a new interesting element to Clinton County and to Ohio because it’s a big part of who they are, and they want to share it.

“I think it will be an aspect of art and music culture that perhaps could only come through because of us,” said Bergquist. “We have great opportunities to meet and work with musicians, writers and filmmakers. And what better idea would it be to bring them here for a weekend for a workshop, a concert, festival or lecture.”

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The first floor of the barn at the Nowhere Else farm near Martinsville.
https://www.wnewsj.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/22/2017/09/web1_Inside-Barn-2.jpgThe first floor of the barn at the Nowhere Else farm near Martinsville.

The barn at the Nowhere Else farm after the renovations.
https://www.wnewsj.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/22/2017/09/web1_Barn-after-1.jpgThe barn at the Nowhere Else farm after the renovations. Courtesy Photos

https://www.wnewsj.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/22/2017/09/web1_Barn-before-2.jpgCourtesy Photos

https://www.wnewsj.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/22/2017/09/web1_Lucy-and-Suzzy.jpgCourtesy Photos

https://www.wnewsj.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/22/2017/09/web1_Over-the-Rhine-2.jpgCourtesy Photos
Farm’s crops are music, art and learning

By John Hamilton


Reach John Hamilton at 937-382-2574